By Martha Swanson
I recently found myself in the possession of a television that refuses to stay on longer than 10 minutes, which is pretty obnoxious when trying to watch my favorite shows. So the Bartleby-like television moved from its home on the entertainment center to under my dining room table, where it has been sitting for the last month or so. I figured this would be a good out-of-the-way spot for the time being, but once I stubbed my toe a few times, I knew it had to go. But where does one recycle electronics?
My trusty Bing search led me to the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority’s website (http://www.lcswma.org/lcswma_recycling_centers.html), which was quite helpful! You can search any item and the site provides locations of where those items can be recycled. LCSWMA accepts a lot of household materials for recycling including household electronics, car batteries, oil-based paint, propane tanks, old chemistry sets, and the list goes on. Go through your garage, basement, kitchen, and anywhere else for those items taking up valuable space that could be recycled!
LCSWMA is located at 1299 Harrisburg Pike and is open Monday through Friday from 8am-4pm and on Saturdays from 8am-12pm. Just a friendly reminder, the services offered by LCSWMA are for Lancaster County residents only. Happy ‘hazardous waste’ recycling!
By Stephen Salvitti
Working with Lancaster’s local Habitat For Humanity ReStore has been a great experience. Tim Hellberg, the store manager, has been helpful, not only in providing me with the information I need on sustainability, but in opening my eyes to see how much people consume on a daily basis and the adverse effects it has on our environment. We had a great conversation during our first meeting about how society can cut back on waste through the concept of reuse. We discussed how the role of corporations that manufacture and sell products are partly to blame for people not being concerned with efficiency and prolonging the life of their products. Obviously, companies want people to continue to buy their products; they benefit every time someone decides to simply throw away their old product and head off to the department store to buy a brand new one. It’s almost a cultural norm to do this. Luckily, there are organizations all over to spread the news about reusing and repurposing materials. And the Lancaster ReStore is there to take all your old materials off your hands! They accept:
- Lighting equipment
- Plumbing materials
- Office chairs
- And much more!
Next time you go to throw out that old piece of furniture, call the ReStore and you’ll be cutting waste in addition to helping Habitat For Humanity build energy efficient homes in your neighborhood!
As I was doing research on reuse centers, I found that the great thing about them is that they’re sustained locally, not globally like corporations. Individuals in the community are the ones donating as well as purchasing. Going into this project, I originally saw ReStore as the type of place solely for contractors or “do-it-yourself” kind of people. Not true at all! Community buildings from churches to small businesses to individual homeowners can all benefit. Just the other day the Lancaster ReStore received a barely used washing machine from a Millersville resident and before they could take it off the dolly another customer told them to turn it right around and wheel it back to the register. So if you’re looking to purchase some furniture or building materials, I would highly recommend checking out the ReStore. If your still unsure, I came up with a list of 5 excellent reasons to use your local ReStore:
- Cash in your pocket. New items are usually 50% off retail value while used items are 50%-75% off.
- Donations are tax deductible. Even more cash in your pocket.
- ReStore profits are invested straight back into your community. ReStore is a not-for-profit organization. All profits made go to the ReStore’s mother organization, Habitat For Humanity, and assist in building energy efficient homes for low-income families in the Lancaster Area. That means you are helping a family as well as the environment by purchasing products from ReStore.
- Reduces landfill waste. By repurposing an item, you eliminate your “would-be” trash that would end up in a landfill close to your community.
- Reduces consumption. By repurposing, you eradicate the need for manufacturing companies to produce that brand new product you would have bought at the department store.
Researching these benefits makes me realize just how much a single person can assist with the sustainability movement. Often we think that reducing our own carbon footprint (only one of Earth’s billions of inhabitants) does not make a difference, but this information along with some other statistics I got from Time Hellberg have forced me towards a paradigm shift in regards to recognizing the power a single person has in helping their environment and community. It is my hope that others appreciate their potential role in this as well.
By Sam Reese
I have been doing a great amount of research into agriculture and farming in Pennsylvania. It was amazing to learn some of the things I have been discovering. Agriculture is the biggest industry in our state. Many people might take farming for granted, myself included, and might have little appreciation for where our food comes from when we sit down at the dinner table.
The advances in agriculture over the centuries are truly remarkable. Central Pennsylvania has one of the richest heritages for farmers and agriculture. Growing up outside of Reading, PA I felt that I was in farm country until I moved to Lancaster. The amount of farms isn’t what surprised me, it is how the entire community seems to embrace it. Sure what city in America doesn’t have a local farmers market or produce stand? Lancaster County however has an amazing amount of local produce stands and farmers markets that are open more than just one day of the week. As you go grocery shopping every store advertises how they carry the freshest local produce. There are even museums in York County that are dedicated to the history of agriculture. You just don’t seem to see that much anymore.
The people who work at the Horn Farm Center are some amazing folks as well. They have the can do attitude with a “sleep when it’s done” mentality. When you speak with them you can tell they are knowledgeable at least to someone who is an amateur at the subject and they are very helpful as well. You can see how they want to have a positive impact in their community and the communities surrounding them. They provide free workshops and educational programs to families and residents. Their website has been under construction for the last few weeks but be sure to check it out for upcoming events and programs. Or if you feel more than inclined they are always looking for volunteers or people to participate in their community garden projects.
It is exciting to help out people that are trying to have a positive impact on our world and environment. This is a place I would truly like to volunteer when I have the extra time and many of their projects are something I can see myself really wanting to be a part of.
By Shanna Muscavage
Lemon Street Market held their grand opening this fall and is now a thriving part of Western Lancaster City. I stopped by on a recent Saturday morning to do some grocery shopping. The selection of fresh, local fruits and vegetables is awesome. I decided to make my Grandfather’s salsa and picked up some great tomatoes, onions, and peppers.
The Market was so different even from just a few short weeks ago!
They added gorgeous wooden shelving and so many new products. There is now an entire back room dedicated to cleaning products and personal care items.
The coffee bar is also now open—a nice collaboration with Chestnut Street Cafe! There was so much work done in just a few short weeks I can’t wait to see what’s coming to the Market in the future.
By Emily Manwiller
Green Infrastructure is defined as natural areas within a community that provide many ecological benefits for the surrounding area. Lancaster County believes that sustaining these elements of green infrastructure (land, air, water, and animal and plants species) is vital to the healthy living of Lancaster County residents. There are many different ways to contribute to sustaining green infrastructure within a community. One way is to provide visitor attractions and places of interest within Lancaster County that have minimal impact on land and natural resources. By doing this, we can preserve the historical and agricultural character that makes Lancaster unique. The Lancaster Green Infrastructure Initiative strives to preserve the many historical and popular tourist destinations of Lancaster County. However, it takes constant effort and support from outsiders as well as locals to maintain these cultural tourist attractions to keep Lancaster County a fun and educational place to visit. The city must reach out to tourist’s needs while also continuously looking to improve the quality of life for local residents. The goal is for Lancaster County to remain a top tourist destination while sustaining the county’s natural resources but marketing these resources in a new and innovative way.
By Kim Landis
I sat down with Marylou Barton and Lydia Martin, two of the masterminds behind Habitat Manheim Township (MT) this past Friday to discuss one of their recently completed projects, the Children’s Discovery Meadow. The meadow is located behind the Manheim Township Public Library and serves as a replica of the natural meadows located beyond the boundaries of the Children’s Meadow.
Like all of the projects Habitat MT is involved in, the project began by removing invasive plants throughout the area. Ms. Barton and Ms. Martin were very adamant about the importance of recognizing these invasive species. Without proper knowledge, they said, many would assume an invasive plant is a native species and let it grow and invade the area. Pollinators such as birds and insects are also to blame for the spread of the non-native species from other areas of Pennsylvania and around the country.
After the invasive plants were removed, new, native plantings were added to the area. A group of volunteers work on a weekly basis to maintain the meadow and replace plants that may have died or been eaten by animal species.
What makes the Children’s Discovery Meadow so special is its educational features. Small signs were created to display the names of the native plants in the Discovery Meadow and inform children and adults alike on what kind of animal species are attracted to the plantings. Not only does this give children a very basic understanding of plants and animals, it also provides knowledge to those unaware of plant species native to their home town.
By Megan Kelley
I had the pleasure of speaking with folks at the corporate Auntie Anne’s about their green initiative. It is an incredible accomplishment to see what they have become considering they started as a stand in a local farmers market a little over 20 years ago. They now have over 1,000 stores in the world, in several different countries. A local farmers market to a store in Japan; the possibilities are endless.
It’s also pretty cool that a company that started so small, grew to be a huge corporation, yet still finds ways to be more green in their own local environment. They have stayed so grounded and they have not forgotten about their roots. Even though they are massively famous throughout the world, they still care about Lancaster County, PA.
As an employee at the local Auntie Anne’s, I have seen some of their initiatives enacted. My favorite of all is their Food Harvesting program. It is through the Food Donation Connection and it started with a corporate employee who sat next to someone at a conference.
Instead of throwing out pretzels at the end of half an hour, (that is their freshness guarantee for in store pretzels) they bag the pretzels up, label and date them and then put them in a refrigerator. A few days a week, local charities come by and **distribute the pretzels** to people who are less fortunate.
Pretty cool huh?
Going Green at Annie Anne\’s
By Don Houck
Phoenixlink Inc. is a sustainable company that provides professional home inspections and energy audits. They offer a great source of renewable energy solutions to the Lancaster community. Phoenixlink’s President, James L. Cramer along with their Project Management Professional, Brian O. Remmey, combine for more than 40 years of service to our country’s military. Janelle Downey, my contact, brings more than 30 years of customer service (insurance) to the company as well.
At their website, www.phoenixlink.org, you can see their future plans as well as a complete breakdown of their employers and the amazing stories behind each. They are staying up to date with features like, liking them on Facebook and/or following them on twitter.
Phoenixlink wants to make the world a more renewable energy using home and it intends to start with Lancaster, with the hope that other communities will do the same and share their passion for making the world a cleaner place.
This American ran and American driven company has a strong belief of buying American. They recommend only high quality American made products. They believe in employing Americans and rebuilding our economy, all the while making the world a greener, cleaner, smarter place to live.
By Johnna Hershey
Green Footprints is an exhilarating journey around Lancaster City to bring attention to sustainable and green initiatives. One highlight to add to your walking tour is the Thursday Night Throwdowns (TNT). This event takes place on the second Thursday of each month and is hosted by one of the local coffee houses in Lancaster City. Thursday Night Throwdowns are coffee art competitions between local baristas. Thursday Night Throwdowns are free to watch and $5 to participate in. It is a great chance to see green and delicious art! Information of Thursday Night Throwdowns can be found at local coffee houses such as Square One Coffee, Prince Street Café, and Chestnut Hill. You can also join the fun on Facebook at Lancaster TNT.
By Ryan Hagen
In older cities like Lancaster there tends to be an excess of old buildings through out the city and surrounding areas. Not all businesses succeed and it’s the buildings that suffer. Often times when the buildings aren’t inhabited by people or businesses the structure begins to suffer. Buildings like these and buildings that are damaged by floods or fires become an eye sore in the community. That’s where the government’s Brownfield’s and other land revitalization programs come in. The government offers grants to cities in order to revitalize these buildings and other unused plots of land and makes them viable again. Grants help improve sustainability in the community. Making use of old abandoned land decreases the need for land expansion which in turn helps preserves nature.